Agenda and minutes

County Council
Wednesday 25 March 2015 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting and Ordinary Meeting both held on 18 February 2015.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting and Ordinary Meeting both held on 18 February 2015 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

17.

Declarations of interest

Please see note (b) at the end of the agenda.

Minutes:

A copy of the declarations of interest are attached to the signed copy of the minutes.

 

 

18.

Announcements

Please see the briefing note, which does not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

a)        Robert Smith

Members stood in silence as a mark of respect to former councillor, Robert Smith, who had passed away on 26 February 2015, aged 90.  ‘Bob’ had been a County Councillor from 1993 to 2001 representing the Bourton and Stow Division.    

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe paid tribute to Bob, noting that he was also a longstanding member of Cotswold District Council and had been made an Honorary Alderman following his retirement from the council.  He said that Bob was an early supporter of the A417 Missing Link and he was pleased that real progress was now being made with local authorities, politicians and other public agencies working together.    

 

b)        Councillors Brian Calway and David Penman 

The Chairman reported that Councillors Brian Calway and David Penman, Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Police and Crime Panel, would not be standing at the district elections in May 2015.  The Chairman thanked them both for their service to the Panel and its forerunner, the Community Safety Scrutiny Committee.

 

c)     Joint appointment      

         The Chairman advised that Jon McGinty had been appointed to the joint position of Managing Director at Gloucester City Council and Commissioning Director at the County Council.

 

d)      Building Better Lives      

         The Chairman encouraged members to visit the displays by social enterprises on the Council Chamber landing during the lunch break.

 

19.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

To answer any written public questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the County Council.

 

The closing date for receipt of questions is 10am on Wednesday, 18 March 2015. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

To answer any oral questions put by members of the public with the consent of the Chairman. Depending on the nature of the questions asked, it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

 

Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

One public question had been received.  A copy of the answer was circulated and is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.


The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 1 –Mr Waddell asked:

 

a) Did the full public consultation mentioned in the answer include members of the local blind and partially sighted community?

 

b)  Does the council consider a zebra style crossing sufficient when recent development in other areas are using the more modern pedestrian controlled crossing, which the National Federation of the Blind and the Guide Dogs Council for the Blind considered the minimum standard for blind and partially sighted pedestrians.

 

c)  Can the council assure us that an audit trail is mandated for all decisions involving public safety in the future?

 

In response Cllr Vernon Smith explained that he would provide Mr Waddell with a written response to the questions outlined above. In addition he offered to meet with him to ‘walk the area’ and understand his specific concerns.

 

20.

Petitions

To receive petitions, if any, without discussion.

Minutes:

No petitions were presented.

21.

Corporate Parenting pdf icon PDF 50 KB

For information and members’ questions.

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Strategic Commissioning.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Answering questions, the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People and Strategic Commissioning recognised that there were a number of challenges around contact arrangements for children in care with their families.  He hoped that the work of the scrutiny task group on the recruitment and retention of children’s social workers would help to address concerns regarding contact. 

 

RESOLVED that the report of the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People and Strategic Commissioning be noted.       

22.

Motions

For debate and decision on the day, unless the Chairman decides otherwise.

The closing date for the receipt of motions was 10am on Tuesday, 17 March 2015.

 

Motion 739 – 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

Proposed by Cllr Richard Leppington

Seconded by Cllr Alan Preest

 

June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta . This is an event of international and national importance.

 

Councils throughout the land are using this as an opportunity to reflect on civic life, and engage young people about how Magna Carta gave rise to the freedoms which they enjoy today.

 

We urge Gloucestershire County Council to organise a suitable commemoration of the event. 

 

Motion 740 - Climate Change

Proposed by Cllr Sarah Lunnon

Seconded by Cllr Mike Sztymiak

 

This motion recognises the adaptation and mitigation work undertaken by Gloucestershire County Council in response to climate change risks. The findings of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that there are opportunities to substantially and significantly increase the transformation of our carbon intensive economy. Local investment now will bring substantial future savings and opportunities that benefit local economies.

 In light of the above, this Council resolves to form and enact policy to develop the ‘low carbon economy’ that reduces greenhouse gas emissions according to AR5 recommended targets. Actions will include:

i)    Effective adaptation to climate change in the local transport plan, in waste management, in flood management and in energy use.

ii)   Support and investment in employment by promoting innovation and investments in environmentally sound technologies and infrastructure that enable sustainable livelihoods and low-carbon behavioural and lifestyle choices.

iii)  A further promotion of long-term sustainability and conservation to enhance biodiversity and special habitats, whilst also enabling responses in the viability of new and innovative types of agriculture and local energy and food production.

 

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes:

·      Human influence on the climate system is clear, warming is unequivocal and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history.

·      Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.

·      Adaptation and mitigation are complementary strategies for reducing and managing the risks of climate change. Substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades can reduce climate risks in the 21st century and beyond, increase prospects for effective adaptation, reduce the costs and challenges of mitigation in the longer term, and contribute to climate-resilient pathways for sustainable development.

·      Many adaptation and mitigation options can help address climate change, but no single option is sufficient by itself. Effective implementation depends on policies and cooperation at all scales, and can be enhanced through integrated responses that link adaptation and mitigation with other  ...  view the full agenda text for item 22.

Minutes:

At the Council briefing, indicative times for each motion had been agreed taking account of the overall time limit of 2 hours for motions allowed in the constitution.

 

Motion 739 – 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

 

Cllr Richard Leppington proposed and Cllr Alan Preest seconded the following motion:

 

June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta . This is an event of international and national importance.

 

Councils throughout the land are using this as an opportunity to reflect on civic life, and engage young people about how Magna Carta gave rise to the freedoms which they enjoy today.

 

We urge Gloucestershire County Council to organise a suitable commemoration of the event. 

 

In moving the motion, Cllr Richard Leppington said that 15 June 2015 would mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymeade.  He stated that the democratic legitimacy of the County Council, Parliament and other local authorities had their roots in the Magna Carta.  He noted that the fundamental principles of the British legal system could be traced back to the Magna Carta.  These included the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the right to trial by jury and no imprisonment without charge.  Today the legal system in Britain was widely recognised as the fairest and best in the World.  He believed that the Magna Carta was worth celebrating and it was important that young people were aware of its relevance to today’s legal system and democracy.

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Alan Preest noted that the anniversary would fall on the same day as Beer Day Britain and would provide an opportunity for a double celebration.  He echoed the words of Cllr Leppington and noted the importance of celebrating the liberties enjoyed by people in Britain today.  

 

Other members spoke in support of the motion and recognised the role of the Magna Carta in social justice, freedom of speech and creating a civilised democracy.  The principles of the Magna Carta provided the foundation for treaties throughout the world including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the US Constitution. 

 

Members noted that the Library Service already had a scheme in place to promote the Magna Carta which was aimed primarily at young people.  They hoped that further opportunities would be taken to celebrate the anniversary and promote tourism in the county. 

 

The following resolution received unanimous support:

 

RESOLVED

 

To note that June 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta . This is an event of international and national importance.

 

To note that councils throughout the land are using this as an opportunity to reflect on civic life, and engage young people about how Magna Carta gave rise to the freedoms which they enjoy today.

 

To urge the County Council to organise a suitable commemoration of the event.

 

Motion 740 - Climate Change

 

Cllr Sarah Lunnon proposed and Cllr Mike  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Member questions pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.

 

To answer any written members’ questions. 

 

The closing date for receipt of questions is 10am on Wednesday, 18 March 2015. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Stephen Bace (email stephen.bace@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

Questions received and proposed responses do not accompany this agenda but will be circulated prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

Sixty member questions had been received.  A copy of the answers was circulated and is attached to the signed copy of these minutes.

 

The following supplementary questions were asked:

 

Question 1 – Cllr Paul Hodgkinson explained that members in Cheltenham were not having the local member face to face meetings with Local Highways Managers and that this arrangement was sporadic in other areas. He asked if the Cabinet Member would ensure that Local Highways Managers emailed local members to arrange meetings for the next two years.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith replied that he was happy to talk to officers and emphasised the importance of a close relationship between highways managers and the local member. He encouraged members to call their local highways manager and be proactive in arranging meetings. Where meetings were not happening in areas, he was happy to take the matter forward with officers on behalf of individual members.

 

Question 2 – Cllr Bernard Fisher asked whether the answer provided to his question did take into account the last 12 calendar months and how it compared to the previous three years.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith informed the member that the figure reflected the time period of the contract from 1 April 2014. He explained that there was a regular rota for the cleaning of gullies and that the same contractor from the previous 5 years had been used. He felt progress had been made after a slow start.

 

Question 3 – Cllr Iain Dobie asked for clarification over the favourable terms referred to in the answer in relation to the bidder. He asked whether this included green spaces or was purely in financial terms.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne explained that the development on the land was a Cheltenham Borough Council matter.

 

Question 4 - Cllr Nigel Robbins asked for proper independent review of the Amey Highways Contract, brought into the public domain looking at the quality of the work and value for money.

 

In response, Cllr Vernon Smith stated that he believed that the employment on a temporary basis of an ex Network Manager and previous Divisional Surveyor to assist in managing the backlog of work showed a willingness to take action. He felt that the Governance Board was sufficient to monitor performance and ensure value for money.

 

Question 5 – Cllr Bernard Fisher asked that if there was a surplus in the highways budget for 2014/15 that this be put into the next budget or provide for an increase in ‘Highways Local’.

 

Cllr Vernon Smith provided details of the need for ‘slippage’ to be built into the contract of around 10% for the first quarter to take into account the impact of outside factors such as the weather. This would be a matter for the Advisory Board to consider.

 

Question 6 – Cllr Jeremy Hilton asked for clarification as to whether the member had read the un-redacted contract between Gloucestershire County Council and Urbaser Balfour Beatty from beginning to end.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne stated that he had read the contract  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Appointments Committee pdf icon PDF 50 KB

For debate and decision on the day, unless the Chairman decides otherwise.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Appointments Committee, presented the report from the meeting held on 3 March 2015 including the recommendation on the Pay Policy Statement for 2015-16.

 

RESOLVED that the Pay Policy Statement for 2015-16 be adopted.

25.

Overview and Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 128 KB

For debate and decision on the day, unless the Chairman decides otherwise.

Minutes:

Adult Safeguarding

 

Following the full Council meeting on 26 November 2014, the wording of the recommendation to Council regarding adult safeguarding had been revised and shared with the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  No objections had been raised to the revised wording which was as follows:

 

·        That Councillors are required to champion the wellbeing of their constituents and raise awareness of adult safeguarding.

 

·        That they play their part in working with communities to assist with the prevention of abuse to keep vulnerable adults safe from harm.

 

·        That they have a duty to report a concern should they become aware of individual cases of abuse through their work with constituents.

 

·        That the Council recognises the need to respect confidentiality and data protection issues; and asks the Cabinet to ensure there is a policy in place that enables local members to be informed about issues of serious concern within their divisions.

 

·        That training or briefing sessions are held with district colleagues at varied venues across the County on Safeguarding.

 

Members noted the wording of the recommendation had been the subject of detailed discussion and they believed that it should now be adopted without further amendment.

 

Other members, whilst supporting the intent of the recommendation, believed that it needed more work.  They suggested that a member group should be established to ensure that appropriate training and resources were in put in place.  A training pack should be developed so that members who joined the Council at a by-election or at the next election in 2017 were aware of their responsibilities. 

 

There was concern that the order of the recommendation was wrong and some changes were suggested to emphasis the importance of training.  A member called for the Cabinet to consult with all members before putting in place a policy to allow local members to be informed about issues of serious concern within their divisions.

 

RESOLVED that

 

a)    Councillors are required to champion the wellbeing of their constituents and raise awareness of adult safeguarding.

 

b)    They play their part in working with communities to assist with the prevention of abuse to keep vulnerable adults safe from harm.

 

c)    They have a duty to report a concern should they become aware of individual cases of abuse through their work with constituents.

 

d)    The Council recognises the need to respect confidentiality and data protection issues; and asks the Cabinet to ensure there is a policy in place that enables local members to be informed about issues of serious concern within their divisions.

 

e)    That training or briefing sessions are held with district colleagues at varied venues across the County on Safeguarding.

 

 

Gloucestershire Economic Growth Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Chairman of the committee, Cllr Colin Hay, reported that the committee had last met on 18 March 2015, the same day as the Economic Growth Joint Committee.  This had allowed the members of the scrutiny committee to look at the same issues and the same approach would be followed for future meetings.  A strong message had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Individual Cabinet Member Decision Statements pdf icon PDF 75 KB

For information and members’ questions.

Minutes:

RESOLVED to note the Individual Cabinet Member Decision Statements for the period 2 to 27 February 2015.

27.

Local Pension Board of the Gloucestershire Firefighters' Pension Fund pdf icon PDF 51 KB

For debate and decision on the day, unless the Chairman decides otherwise.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, presented the report relating to the establishment of a Local Pension Board for the Gloucestershire Firefighters’ Pension Fund.  The terms of reference broadly reflected those already adopted by the Council for the Pension Board for the Local Government Pension Scheme.  He thanked officers for the work that they had undertaken to put a scheme in place at short notice to meet the 1 April 2015 deadline by the Department of Communities and Local Government. 

 

A member expressed concern that, under the new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme, firefighters who lost fitness through no fault of their own, could be forced to retire on a reduced pension.  He stated that it might prove difficult to redeploy firefighters into other roles as there were very few suitable opportunities available.

 

Cllr Windsor-Clive stated that this was covered in the new legislation and it would be up to the Council to assess individuals on a case by case basis.  

 

RESOLVED to

 

a)      Establish the Local Pension Board of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme with the terms of reference indicated in the report.

 

b)      Authorise the Chief Fire Officer to put in place the detailed arrangements for the Local Pension Board following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure and the Monitoring Officer.